560.AL/6–2147: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Troutman) to the Secretary of State

us urgent niact

546. For Acheson and Nitze from Wilcox. Have just received following letter from J. R. C. Helmore acting head UKDel ITO Conference:

“On behalf of the UKDel I wish to invite attention to the provisions of a bill (S 814) which has been approved by Congress and at present waits Presidential sanction. According to the text of the introduction of the Senate House conference report which was made in the House of Representatives on 16 June the bill stipulates inter alia that an amendment shall be made to Section 22 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 in such a way as to provide in certain circumstances for the imposition of import fees or quantitative limitations on wool entering the US.

As the USDel is well aware wool is a key commodity in the negotiations now in progress for the reduction of tariffs under mutually advantageous agreements as part of the plan for an international trade organization. The bill would apparently make it impossible for the USDel to reduce the barriers affecting one of the principal items of trade between the USA and the countries of the British Commonwealth. Its enactment would, therefore, shake confidence in the ability of the US Govt to give effect to the policy of trade barriers reduction through a series of mutually advantageous agreements.

Consequently, His Majesty’s Govt in the UK as joint sponsors of the proposals relating to the establishment of an international trade organization, feel it their duty to point out to the US Govt that the wool bill, if it were allowed to become law as it stands at present, would constitute a most serious setback to all the efforts made during the past several years towards the removal of trade barriers from the Atlantic Charter to the present Conference at Geneva and would endanger not only the tariff negotiations but also the negotiations in regard to the Charter for an International Trade Organization.

For these reasons I must inform you that His Majesty’s Govt express the earnest hope that this bill will not become law”.